Getting Over Mommy Guilt

It’s real. That pain in your gut feeling that you don’t teach enough, bake enough, snuggle enough, read enough, pray enough — and generally aren’t enough.

Mommy guilt plagues us as we do our daily chores and celebrate milestones. The pressure to do more than we can, be more than we are, to give more than we have wells up from within. It leaves us feeling hollowed out, empty from trying to meet expectations that we can never quite achieve.

Whether you’re a seasoned mom or just starting out, the daily challenges of raising kids wear on us. We’re tempted to absorb every stumble and struggle—telling ourselves that if only I could fill-in-the-blank then my child would follow the rules, sleep through the night, make better grades. We secretly believe that if we prayed more, read more, or tried harder then we wouldn’t snap at our kids. We’d have better answers for their questions. And we would finally do enough to meet their needs.  

But in reality, you and I will never be enough. And we aren’t even supposed to be.

After all, isn’t that the story of humanity and the gospel? You and I can never be good enough to stand before a perfect God on our own. We cannot figure out this life and fulfill our responsibilities ourselves. We need help.

That help comes from a good God who does for us and gives to us what we could never do on our own. And his motivation for such grace? Love.

We love our kids in such a messy, imperfect way. And yet no amount of whining, crying, or disobeying could take away that love. In a far greater and completely perfect way, God loves each us, regardless of how many times we stub our toe, say the wrong thing, or complain.   

When we think about this truth, it changes mom life for us. We can take a breath and relax a little bit. You and I are loved apart from what we do. We are loved because of who God is and who he created us to be.

From this perspective, it grows a little easier to ask for and accept his help. I need wisdom, energy, insight, patience, and grace to raise the little boy God has given me. And so I’m learning to open my hands in order to absorb the love and accept the grace needed to tackle another day.

Let’s leave the mommy guilt behind and find enough of whatever we need today in him. Will you join me?  

Amanda DeWitt is a freelance writer, coach's wife, and mom. She completed her bachelor’s at Dallas Baptist University and holds a M.A. in media and communication from Dallas Theological Seminary. When she's not typing away at her computer, she's chasing her two little boys or watching her husband coach high school football.